Centers of Excellence

Heart & Vascular Center

Coronary Endarterectomy

Coronary endarterectomy is a procedure that was commonly used to treat coronary heart disease before coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG surgery) became the recommended treatment. Coronary endarterectomy is still performed as an adjunct to CABG on certain high-risk patients.

During a coronary endarterectomy, cholesterol material or plaque is stripped from the inner walls of the coronary arteries. The arteries are then reconstructed to allow free flow of blood. Cardiac surgeons in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Heart & Vascular Center have gained national prominence in this technique.

Our board-certified surgeons are high-volume performers in all types of cardiac procedures, including coronary endarterectomy. This experience and their collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of specialists through the Structural Heart Disease Program enables our surgeons to handle the most complicated cases, with a range of traditional and minimally invasive treatment options that improve the lives of patients throughout the world.

With 47,000 outpatient visits each year, the Heart & Vascular Center is one of the largest in the United States, treating over 7,000 inpatients and performing more than 8,000 procedures annually at our state-of-the-art Shapiro Cardiovascular Center.

Why Have Coronary Endarterectomy Surgery?

Coronary endarterectomy is performed to treat a blockage or narrowing of the coronary arteries, thus improving blood supply to the heart.

This procedure is performed as part of coronary artery bypass surgery in order to bypass vessels that otherwise could not be bypassed. Conditions that may increase the chances of requiring coronary endarterectomy include:

  • Older age
  • Advanced coronary artery disease
  • Conditions that complicate heart disease such as:
    • Diabetes
    • Hyperlipidemia

What You Can Expect

The Heart & Vascular Center is located in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, across the street from BWH’s main 75 Francis Street entrance. The Heart & Vascular Center brings together the full range of services in one location, fostering seamless and coordinated care for all cardiovascular patients.

Prior to the procedure, you will be scheduled for a visit to the Watkins Clinic in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center for preoperative information and tests.

The day of the procedure, your care will be provided by surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses who specialize in coronary artery disease. The Heart & Vascular Center is home to one of the most advanced hybrid operating rooms in the country. After surgery, you will recover in the post-surgical care unit where you will receive comprehensive care by an experienced surgical and nursing staff.

During your procedure, family and friends can wait in the Shapiro Family Center where staff members will provide surgery updates.

Multidisciplinary Care

In addition to our cardiac surgeons, patients also benefit from the teamwork of medical cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, cardiovascular imaging experts and radiologists, and anesthesiologists, all experts in cardiovascular disease. They work alongside nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, dietitians and social workers to achieve outstanding outcomes for our patients.

Cardiac Surgery Appointments and Locations


Learn more about coronary artery disease in our health library.

Visit the Kessler Health Education Library in the Bretholtz Center for Patients and Families.

Access a complete directory of patient and family services.

Learn about the Watkins Clinic in the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center.

Download Cardiac Surgery: A Guide for Patients in English or in Spanish.

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital

For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

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